Concomitant diseases, the patient’s general condition, exercise capacity and the extent of surgery are determinants of the operative risk. Increasing number of patients with endovascular stents and antithrombotic medication need special perioperative precautions as well as the eventual endocarditis prophylaxis. The risk of perioperative complications can probably be decreased by respiratory physiotherapy, correction of anaemia and smoking cessation. Severe liver or kidney insufficiency need be evaluated. Principles of preoperative fasting and perioperative strategies with concomitant medication are described, and use of preoperative carbohydrate drinks are encouraged.